We are pleased to share the scope and sequence of the RTHS Biotechnology Curriculum. The outline below includes links to online videos, animations, and articles as well as the documents that were used during the lessons. The readings are excerpts from Raleigh Charter High School Biology Course Guides. These units were developed by Dr. Lara Pacifici and Dr. Amanda Marvelle, both our first Biology teachers at RTHS.

Unit 2 – Biochemistry

During this unit we focused on Enzymes and their use in the production of bioethanol.  We used examples from the work of a local biotechnology company, Novozymes.


Aug 31:

Ethanol from Substrate Music Video.doc


Sept 4:

Enzymes (what they are and how they work)


Enzyme video


Sept 5:

Enzyme, Corn, and Bioethanol Research Project

EnzymeCornBioethanol research.doc


Ethanol Process on Modern Marvels (video)

Video Tour of an Ethanol Plant (video)




Sept 6:

1st step of Bioethanol production: Alpha Amylase & Ground Corn Experiment

Bioethanol video


Sept 7:

Scientists from Novozymes came to each class to talk about enzymes and their work at Novozymes.



Unit 5 – DNA and Protein Synthesis

During this unit students learned the basics about DNA, Replication, and Protein synthesis.  At the end of the unit we introduced them to the field of biotechnology and how restriction enzymes can cut DNA.


Nov 9:

Learn how to use a micropipette


Nov 15:

Introduction to Biotechnology


Intro to Biotch classwork.doc

Biotechnology Tools and Techniques Video


Nov 16:

Paper Plasmid Model

Paper Plasmid Digest.doc

Paper Plasmid Bases.doc


Nov 19:

Restriction Enzyme Lab

Restriction Enzyme Lab Honors.doc

Restriction Enzyme Lab.ppt

RE Lab reading and questions.doc

Restriction enzyme animation

Restriction Enzymeand Gel Electrophoresis Resource


Nov 20:

Finish Restriction Enzyme Lab

Ideal RE Gels.pdf

Lab Write-up for homework

Rubric Restrict Enzyme lab.doc

Student Sample lab report 1.doc

Student Sample lab report 2.doc

During Unit 11 – Invertebrates

While students were learning about invertebrates we had our 2 flex days, where students visited Syngenta Biotechnology for four hours. They toured the company and got to see the production of Bt corn from start to finish. In order to prepare for this visit, they completed pre-visit work, had questions to focus on during the visit, and completed post-visit homework and classwork.  


Feb 25:

Preparing for the genetic engineering unit and the student’s trip to Syngenta

Genetic Engineering Video 1

Genetic Engineering Video 2


Biotechnology Article: New Shade of Green: a Stark Shift for Onetime Foe of Genetic Engineering in Crops. A onetime leader of the anti-GMO movement now embraces that technology as a planet saver.

New Shade of Green.pdf

New Shade of Green blog post + video


Feb 26:

FLEX Day visit to Sygenta

  • READ the pre-visit research document

Pre-trip Work.doc

  • Outline the steps of making Bt corn in the pre-visit research document using this information module

  • Begin researching for your job description




Unit 12 – Biotechnology

This unit is a summary and culmination of our trip to Syngenta and the biotechnology topics we have done in class all year.


March 7:

-Turn in Syngenta Job Description from Flex Day

-Write a 4-6 sentence paragraph explaining whose job of the 5 scientists you met you would most like to have yourself and why.

Genetic Engineering Game

Video describing Bt genetic engineering of corn

Farmers explain Bt Corn

Video describing the lab we’ll be doing

Glowing jellyfish video

Application of glowing gene transformation


March 8:

The Ethics of Biotechnology Discussion

The Ethics of Biotechnology Student sheet.doc

Whole Foods – GMO products in their stores 

Supreme Court Appears to Defend Patent on Soybean

Bowman v. Monsanto NPR Piece

GMO Salmon

View UNC TV's video of Syngenta's Mary Dell Chilton, and other resources based upon their work.

March 11:

Bt Corn Genetic Engineering Process. Students go through the step-by-step process for making Bt corn

Bt corn Stations.doc


March 12:

Transformation Lab

Transformation Lab Procedures.pdf

Transformation Lab Video

Bacterial Transformation Reading.doc

Student Transformation Questions.doc


March 13:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Transformation.pdf